At Kite we’re really focused on giving our users the best experience possible when they’re using our VLE. In this new release we have implemented new group management and target feature within our learning platform.
We have worked closely with our Kite users to generate ideas and suggestions and took them into consideration when developing the new features.
Before going into detail here’s our quick list of changes that we will be releasing for those who want the key information:
- Staff can now create, edit and delete groups
- Users can now create, edit and delete targets
- The “Group Search” page has been added allowing users to quickly find any group
- New feedback notification system
- Improvements to the student homework diary
- Better handling of quiz results in Internet Explorer 7
- Better support for cloning units with complex structures and content
We understand that any type of management can be time-consuming so we implemented a simple and easy to use group management system within Kite. Users are already familiar with the concept of groups within the learning platform, and this information is imported from schools’ internal systems. After talking to our users we realised that they needed a way to create new groups and manage existing groups, so we sat down with our users and implemented one. This allows administrators to easily organise their VLE users for common tasks (such as setting permissions or creating academic targets).
One of the first tasks was to gather requirements from our users and put together an in-house design process.
Once the logic was written up the magic started! Taking the designs and the requirements the group management system was underway. The first requirement we needed to implement was allowing the user to search for groups for easy management. From our previous blog post we said “Familiarity is key” and we now stick to it, we implemented a group search similar to our student search. Can you see the similarities?
But this was only half of the task; we still needed to show the users the information associated to a group. Going back to the drawing board we created a new cover-page that presented group information in a simple layout.
The feature gives the users the ability to edit and delete groups. The user can also change the group name, description and its members (only if they have permission!). Once the group management feature was developed our next feature was to implement academic user targets but we took that feature to the next level and allowed users to set academic targets on a group too.
User and Group Targets
We believe academic targets are a key part of the students learning process. Setting targets can help students close the gap between what they have achieved and what they want to achieve. Users also share our enthusiasm about targets so we developed a new feature that gives teachers, students and parents the ability to create, edit and delete academic targets.
We designed a simple and easy solution to set targets for students and we added a new tab on our student and group page.
Using the simple tools provided, users can search, filter and order academic targets. Clicking on a target loads the target page allowing users to modify or delete the target.
Users can edit the following attributes on a target:
- Progress – What’s the current status of the target? (none, in progress, partially, fully, excelled and not met)
- Description – The description of the target
- Type – Standard or Academic
- Due Date – When is the target due
- Evidence – Add/Delete evidence for a target
- Comments – Gives the user the ability to discuss the target
- Members – Add/Remove members to a target
- Groups – Add/Remove groups to a target
Over time a student’s target develops and the progress changes, the ideal cycle would be none to in progress and finishing on complete. Staff, Students or Parents might want to submit evidence to a target to highlight progress. We implemented three different types of evidence that the users could submit: Files, Text and homework submissions.
If you have already used our Resource Block this will be nothing new for you, but if you haven’t, no need to worry, adding files as target evidence is easy using our drag and drop functionality. Users can drag and drop files from the school network (sidebar), from the desktop (if your browser supports it) and even upload files directly to the target. Once the file has been uploaded, that file can be downloaded or removed… it’s really that easy!
Users can also add text as evidence; this process is also very simple, just type your comment in the text field and click “Post Evidence” and we will handle the rest.
Users can also search for any homework submission and add it as evidence; this could be a file that has been uploaded or a quiz that has been completed.
Communication between teachers, students and parents is important to us, so we developed a feature that gives the users the ability to discuss targets.